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Nov. 7, 2003

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – In the first of two semifinal games at Turf Field on Friday in the 2003 ACC Field Hockey Championship, the third seed Duke Blue Devils (17-2) downed the second seed North Carolina Tar Heels (16-5), 4-3 to advance to their second championship final and first since 1990.

In a defensive battle for the first 15 minutes of the game, the Duke Blue Devils would strike first in the 16th minute. Junior Gracie Sorbello connected on a Blue Devil penalty corner for her 19th goal of the season, to take a 1-0 lead. On the play, junior Johanna Bischof and sophomore Katie Grant each collected an assist. The assist from Bischof was the 40th of her career, making her the all-time assist leader in Duke history.

Late in the first half, North Carolina would tie the score at 1-1. Junior Kerry Falgowski took her first penalty stroke of the season and deposited the ball past the diving Christy Morgan for her seventh goal of the year.

Less than three minutes later, Duke would counter with their second goal on the day to take a 2-1 halftime lead. Senior Kim Van Kirk scored on a loose ball play five yards out for her 12th goal of the season.

Both team charged out the gate in the second half looking to add to their goal total with a fiery of offensive opportunities. But it was the Tar Heels who broke through with a quick goal 23 seconds in to tie the score at two. Sophomore Karen Mann netted the goal for the Heels, her sixth in 2003.

North Carolina would strike once more, this time in the 44th minute to take their first lead of the game at 3-2. Freshman Rachel Dawson scored on a penalty corner off an assist from Brooke Miller and Laura Douglas.

Duke would later tie the game at three apiece when sophomore Katie Grant scored her 18th goal of the season in the 55th minute of play. But the Blue Devils were not finished as they were awarded a penalty stroke just three minutes later. Junior Johanna Bischof connected on the shot for her first goal of the championship and a 4-3 Blue Devil advantage.

The victory for Duke sets a school record for wins in a single season (17) and also for consecutive wins in a season with nine. The Blue Devils will next play the winner of the Wake Forest/Maryland game on Sunday, November 9 in search of their school’s first-ever field hockey championship.

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